Town of Emmitsburg
300A S. Seton Ave Emmitsburg, Maryland

Town Meeting Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
July 12, 2004


Town Manager's Report - Mr. Haller reported on the public works department monthly activities to include the installation of a speed bump on Armstrong lane, water production and consumption analysis. He stated that Silo Hill carwash met the 82% recycling rate for this quarter. Staff installed new basketball nets in Community Park and performed minor repairs on the Babe Ruth League Field parking lot. Mr. Haller also reported monthly meetings attended. Commissioner Walbrecker requested that the Board receive a copy of the manger's report for the meetings.

Town Planner's Report - Mr. Lucas reported on the Planning and Zoning department monthly activities. Among the items mentioned in Michael Lucas' report were Codes Enforcement information which included parking violations and related revenues. There were a total of 20 permits issued. Other activities included conducting a public workshop on the updated 1998 Comprehensive Plan, a meeting with Frederick County storm water management official to discuss outstanding issues in Pembrook Woods, organizing the Taste of Emmitsburg in conjunction with the World Weight Lifting Championship held at Mount St. Mary's University and the opening of the Farmers Market.

Mr. Lucas also commented that Pembrook Woods parking issue needs to be referred to Planning Commission for study.

Treasurer's Report - Commissioner Art Elder. See attached report, Exhibit A.

Police Report -Deputy Moxley outlined police activity for the month of June 2004. Detailed report at Exhibit B. He also reported that the Rocket Club is now in full swing for children ages 10 to 17 years old at the Ambulance Company, Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m.

Committee reports - Commissioner Walbrecker reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission held a special meeting on June 12 addressing two zoning text amendments. On June 17 there was a public workshop to receive public input on the Comp Plan review, specifically chapter 4. At the June 28 meeting the sign application for Little Flower was approved and they discussed the Frederick County Moderately Priced Development Unit Ordinance. Representing the Streets & Transportation Committee, Commissioner O'Neil reported that no meeting occurred due to the lack of a quorum and another meeting will be scheduled.


Commissioner Rosensteel - stated that she attended the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Weight Lifting Championship. She also attended the Maryland Municipal League convention in Ocean City representing Emmitsburg, she was proud and honored to carry the flag in the parade of flags. Commissioner Rosensteel also reported she attended other numerous meetings. She announced that there will be a Folk Concert in the park July 18 and confirmed that there will be a puppet show in the park on August 7 for children.

Commissioner Walbrecker - Announced the Comprehensive Plan meeting July 17, at 9:00a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to discuss land use policy and community design policy. Commissioner Walbrecker noted for the record that she hoped the Town could do some additional work on Stoner and Hoffman Lanes. She also reported that she spoke with Pat Larson of the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association and he said the signs coming into Emmitsburg that are not nice looking will be fixed. The plaque in front of the Community Center that has wrong information will also be fixed. Commissioner Walbrecker also reported that she contacted the recycling coordinator for Frederick County to try to set up a public information meeting in regards to recycling.

Discussion took place between Commissioner Walbrecker and Mr. Haller concerning the Homeowners Association Representatives being included in the meetings with Frederick County for Pembrook Woods.

Commissioner Elder - Gave a pictorial presentation on the water supply. Commissioner Elder stated that he feels we are in good shape. Mr. Haller added that well #4 is an additional source of water it was dug and initially approved 3-4 years ago. About two years ago a decision was made to put it online, process was started, then the County changed the storm water management regulations. Process has been started to meet those regulations.

Commissioner O'Neil - commented that he has received correspondence from Senator Sarbanes in regards to the their previous meeting to discuss possible assistance for the Towns sewer problems. As a result of that meeting the Senator's Projects Director has contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Economic and Community Development Office to request grant money so the that Town can apply that for an engineering survey.

MAYORS COMMENTS - Mayor Hoover stated the we have had a very successful couple of weeks here in Emmitsburg. It was a privilege as a small town to be able to host the World Weight Lifting Competition and the Taste Of Emmitsburg reception held for the weight lifter's was a huge success and very much appreciated by the weight lifter's and coaches. The Farmers Market has also been a big success.


MOTION: Commissioner Walbrecker made a motion to suspend this meeting to call to order a Public Hearing to take public comments on Ordinance 17.26.020 "Permitted uses in VZ". Commissioner Rosenstell seconded the motion. VOTE 4-0 in favor of the motion.


This item is the review and approval of a text amendment to allow "Retail wine and spirit shops" in the village zone. Mr. Lucas reported that the text amendments came about reviewing uses permitted in village zone. The text amendments are as follows: Allow Retail Wine and Spirit Shops as a use permitted by right, to allow print shops as a use permitted by right, print brokers and computer shops as a use permitted by right. This has gone to the planning commission and they gave their unanimous recommendation and Staff recommends approval of the text amendments.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: Catherine Forrance 404 W. Main ,Betsy Forrence 17247 Annandale Rd., Lisa Elder 107 S Seton and Chris Price 107 S Seton Ave., expressed their agreement with the text amendments for the VZ and asked for approval.

MOTION: To adjourn the public hearing and reconvene the Town Meeting . Commissioner Elder made the motion, seconded by Commissioner Walbrecker. VOTE 4-0 in favor of motion.

Town Meeting resumed at 8:14 p.m.

MOTION: To approve Ordinance 04-09 to amend 17.26.020 "Permitted uses in VZ" as stated by Mr. Lucas. The motion was made by Commissioner Walbrecker and seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel. VOTE: 3-0-1 Commissioner Elder abstained due to family involvement.


This item is related to the council's earlier direction to staff to construct a median in Silo Hill Parkway to help control traffic and reduce some safety hazards. Mr. Haller stated that he met with Ken Kacmarski of Eagle oil along with Mr. Lucas and had on site discussions. Mr. Haller felt it would be reasonable to entertain Mr. Kacmarski's ideas on this issue and be evaluated before project is started. Mr. Lucas gave a presentation to review possible median configuration for Silo Hill Parkway. Mr. Lucas stated that the owner of Eagle Oil has noted that the original median proposal would require him to reconfigure his point of ingress/egress and also given the sighting of his building would make internal traffic control on his property difficult and constitute a true hardship to his business. Mr. Haller added as the build out of Silo Hill Parkway continues,(approximately 8 or 10 more lots) stacking will increase. This will definitely be a concern for safety, but at the same time since there have not been many traffic accidents to date he feels it would be reasonable for the town to be business friendly and give Mr. Kacmarski the opportunity to show that his plan will work.

Ken Kacmarski -gave a presentation to make his case before the Board for less restrictive control measures. Mr. Kacmarski asked the Commissioner's if they would consider a much shorter median so that people would have to come in and would not be able sling shot but still give them the ability to bring a tractor trailer into the location. He asked for a minimum of a six month opportunity to see if this would solve the problem.

President O'Neil mentioned another option would be removable pylons rather then having a concrete median. Mr. Haller stated that the Town could work with Mr. Kacmarski to put up a temporary median which are made of heavy duty plastic materials, this would also allow him to get his test time in. Mr. O'Neil added this would give Mr. Kacmarski the flexibility to pull the pylons when needed to for the tractor trailers.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: - Keith Grossnickle operates the McDonalds - agrees with the proposal for a shorter median. He reported that if the proposed median that runs all the way back would occur it would cause severe safety hazards to their organization. One of the major concerns is that most of their business (63%) is drive thru business, by constructing the median it would force every drive thru customer to circle the parking lot twice which could cause accidents.

MOTION: To proceed with a temporary median and such painting as Staff may deem appropriate to test the site for such a median in concert with the properties that are affected. The motion was made by Commissioner O'Neil and seconded by Commissioner Elder. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.

MOTION: Commissioner Walbrecker would like to amend the motion that the Board reviews the Silo Hill Parkway median again in eight months. President O'Neil seconded the amended motion.  VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the amended motion.


This item is related to the proposed appointment of a new member to the Parks Committee. Mr Clifford Sweeney has been suggested for appointment to the Parks Committee. Mayor Hoover stated that he has spoken to Mr. Sweeney directly and recommends Mr. Sweeney to the Parks Committee. MOTION: To appoint Mr. Clifford Sweeney as a new member to the Parks Committee. No objection. Motion carried.


This item is related to a proposed amendment to policy P03-01 "Permits & Inspection Fees". This amendment if approved would become policy P03-01/04 "Permits & Inspection Fees". This amendment has been suggested by the Town Planning & Zoning Staff.

Mr. Lucas of the Planning and Zoning Staff gave a presentation suggesting revisions be made to the permits and inspection fees. He stated in his presentation that the Towns current planning and zoning fees in no way ever approach what it cost to process the permits. The revisions would raise permit fees on new construction from $200 to $400, repairs and remodeling fees would go from $20 to $35. Mr. Lucas stated he feels this is reasonable and asked the Boards consideration on making these revisions. There was a brief discussion on how repairs and renovations are defined. Mr. O'Neil also questioned our rates compared to other municipalities. Mr. Lucas replied that our rates are lower because the Town issues zoning certificates. Mr. O'Neil expressed his concern of the Town supplying services that do not support themselves which could lead to the need to increase taxes. He believes that the rates need to be higher.

MOTION: To approve the proposals to amend policy P03-01 "Permits and Inspection Fees" as submitted and at 6 months time come back to the Commissioners and Mayor with data to see if fees need to be increased. Also on the proposed report item D wording needs to changed from $20 to $35. The motion was made by Commissioner O'Neil and seconded by Commissioner Elder. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.


This items is related to the proposed "Sanitary Sewer Tap System Connection Allocation Plan".

Mr. Haller made a presentation to describe the proposed plan residential sanitary sewer tap draft as of July 8. He also then presented an example of how the sanitary sewer allocation plan would work.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: Attorney G. Randall Whittenberger for Apple Tree Homes- commented on several concerns. He feels those who are ready to build should get the first allocations. He requested consideration in fairness to those who already have infrastructure in the Town. Karen Fegani resides in Germantown ,Salesperson for Apple Tree Homes - requested the Board take into consideration those who already sold their homes and are now homeless. Tom Carolan, owner of Apple Trees Homes -believes that in all fairness the Board should take into consideration the lots that were ready when the moratorium became effective and start their allocations with them and move on from there. He has 14 lots ready to build on since January, they are ready willing and able to get permits. He had his investment in the ground since January - February.

At this time Mr. Haller commented that Staff requested that only public comments be taken tonight and no vote he also suggested leaving the record open for a week or more for anyone who wanted to submit a written comment. Discussion ensued in regards to Town growth, the process of issuing the permits and the MDE consent order, there was also discussion on the temporary moratorium with regards to the sewer connection. Commissioner Rosensteel asked what the status was on getting the infrastructure fixed. Mr. Haller responded that they received a bid but it does not meet all the criteria, therefore he will be asking the Board to reject the bid received and get a rebid .He reported the deadline for rejecting the bid is September 14 and recommends that it would be done sooner. At this time Commissioner Walbrecker wanted to make a statement that since Apple Tree is the only one meeting the conditions right now that she would be in favor of looking at them first to receive the allocations. Mayor Hoover responded that Apple Tree would be looked at first according to item 3 of the draft.


This items is related to the "All Purpose Field" and the related Program Open Space funding and is a discussion item only. Mr. Haller interjected that it is his understanding since he was not at the agenda meeting that a few of the Commissioners had some alternative plans for POS funding that they would like to discuss or possibly research.

Mayor Hoover stated that the Board wanted to find out if this money can be forwarded to another project, such as a walking path which is being considered at this point. He commented on Mr. Lucas's statement from another meeting that there has been no study of a need for an All Purpose Field for the amount of money that the Town has in the POS grant. Mr. Lucas responded that the point he was suggesting in the previous meeting was that the Town had no real empirical data to suggest the level of usage or the level of interest for an all purpose field. He stated that this might be a wonderful project but typically in recreation planning it is recommended that money not be spent until some actual needs assessment has been done. Commissioner O'Neil commented that he believes we really need to take a multi-generational approach to recreation in town and feels it would be a good move if we could convert the funds for that purpose.

Commissioner Walbrecker questioned because it is POS is there a requirement to actually use the funds in the park itself. Mr. Haller responded that he believes it is because it is for recreation not conveyance. Mr. Lucas added that he did some preliminary checks with the State in regards to Commissioner Walbrecker's request to look into a Community Garden, since it would not be a permanent facility the state would be very reluctant to transfer the monies. Mr. Haller interjected that there is no cost for a Community Garden that the Town would only have to lay it out. Commissioner Walbrecker reported that we still don't have any data on what the citizens want and suggest putting a note on channel 99 and notice in the newspaper for citizens to let Parks and Recreation Committee know of their interest. Commissioner O'Neil stated that he feels a poll is what really needs to be done to get the data. Mr. Lucas stated that would take a lot of staff time. Commissioner Elder commented that a multipurpose field would take a lot of the taxpayers money and the town should be sure it's going to be used before it would be built.

President O'Neil suggested that Staff pursue getting together some documentation and make a recommendation by which the Commission could move forward to proceed in expanding the POS funds for a multi-generational recreation purpose. No objections, unanimous consent.


Mr. Haller reported this item is related to the Town Committee Membership and the requirements thereof, this item is for discussion only at this time. The Board was given a copy of Ordinance 2.40.020 "Qualifying conditions" to review and comment on.

Commissioner Walbrecker suggested that the Parks Committee should be opened up for membership for residents in the 21727 area code. She also suggested that the Water Committee be opened up to people who are served by Town water. President O'Neil recommended allowing one position on each committee to be a non-citizen member. He reminded the Board that if a non-citizen committee member makes a recommendation it will still fall to the Commissioners to determine if its is a good recommendation or not. Mr. Haller agreed that limiting it to one party is an excellent condition. He also added that he would like to see the Water Committee member be a user and part of the system. Mr. Elder commented that he tried to bring this up a year ago and got voted down, but he is in agreement and feels one or two on a committee would be fine. Commissioner Rosensteel feels committee membership should stay within the town. Mayor Hoover agrees with the one member issue and believes it is worth considering.

MOTION: President O'Neil made a recommendation for Staff to draft an ordinance to allow one non-citizen member of the committees based on their recommendations to the Mayor exclusive of Planning and Zoning for purposes of Maryland State Law. Seconded by Commissioner Walbrecker. VOTE: 4-0 in favor.


This item is related to the possible creation of a Residential Sprinkler Ordinance. Commissioner Walbrecker reported that it was recommended by County Commissioner Gardner that the Town try to go with a county wide sprinkler ordinance for new buildings. According to the Frederick County Fire and Volunteer Rescue services that would be looking at a 18 month time frame to draft the ordinance. Commissioner Walbrecker will be working with Commissioner Gardner to try to speed up the process, and will keep the Board informed. Commissioner Walbrecker also reported that she spoke with the Mayor in regards to a Stake Holders meeting to look into the possibility of a grant on Main Street to retrofit with some sprinkle systems. Commissioner Walbrecker defined Stake Holder as residence, National Fire Sprinklers Assoc., Frederick County Fire and Rescue Assoc., and any one who might have a part in shaping this grant. The grant will be due in October. Mr. Haller commented that it would be a good idea to hand out information on the stake holders meeting and stated that Staff could help in getting the information out.



PUBLIC COMMENTS: Jen Staiger, 1230 Brookfield drive, secretary of the Homeowners Assoc. - In order to determine how the homeowners in Pembrookwoods felt about the parking, she sent out an email to approximately 60 out of the 70 homes and received 25 responses. There were two responses in favor of the unrestricted parking, 2 responses in favor of the current parking restrictions. The majority of those left were in favor of some sort of special event parking. There are many residents who are concerned about allowing parking on the streets. The Town will have to consider very carefully how parking will be regulated if special event parking is going to be considered.

Commissioner O'Neil commented that he would like to see the Home Owners Association come up with specific recommendations that they feel would be a fair system for parking. Mr. Lucas added that there are several issues to deal with, one is that there is a plat restriction that has been approved by the Town, secondly the Towns zoning ordinance given with those streets does not allow for on street parking and it would require a text amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow parking regardless if the Town allows some special consideration and at the present time the streets don't technically belong to the Town but to the developer. Commissioner O'Neil stated that he would like to refer this item to the planning commission but he would also like to have the precise written legal requirements to remove parking restrictions in Pembrook Woods.

MOTION: Commissioner Walbrecker made a motion to move the matter of Pembrook Woods Parking to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel. VOTE: 4-0 in favor.


Linda Pembroke 4065 Carrick Court would like to have parking for special events in Pembrook Woods. Harold Craig 103 West Main St. commented on the Pembrook Woods parking issue.